One bite: salsa de cacahuate at Cermak Produce | Bleader

One bite: salsa de cacahuate at Cermak Produce

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One of the many reasons I love my neighborhood Cermak Produce is the regular availability of housemade salsas, usually guacamole, salsa verde, and picadillo but occasionally an oddball, such as a malevolent dark red "salsa diablo." I'd suspect they're an economical way for the store to use up over-the-hill produce if they didn't look and taste so bright. The other day I came across a new one--salsa de cacahuate, or peanut salsa, a vibrant orange solution of ground peanut and red chile flecks that finishes with a slow burn and has only a very slight resemblance to southeast Asian peanut sauces. Before I did any investigation I topped some leftover pork roast with it, and it considerably revived the meat, which by then had become a little dry. In My Mexico Diana Kennedy has a recipe from Veracruz, made with chipotle moras, that she recommends spreading on plain tortillas, over rice, or in chicken stew. But there are definitely no chipotles in Cermak's. Over on the CIA's Web site Rick Bayless gives a version using guajillo and arbol chiles. He says it's traditionally used on fish tacos in Acapulco and Guerrero, but he likes it on roast duck too. Cermak's is not quite that complicated but seems similar.

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